A story of freshness
Red House Farm is a 155 acre, Soil Association certified organic farm on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. It primarily produces organic cereals, fruit and vegetables and has a fledgling pork business. Family run for over 250 years, it is looking to develop and innovate into being the primary organic farming site in the Manchester region. It has recently been taken over by the latest generation of the Clare family, with the new incumbent looking to be at the cutting edge of modern, environmentally sustainable, organic production entailing the highest animal welfare standards possible as well as a contemporary approach to distribution and marketing of its products, combined with a desire to provide social goods for the wider community.
The production of organic meats at Red House Farm is close to completing its 4th year and is run by husband and wife Lewis & Amy. Developing the meat production forms part of the wider vison for the farm's future.
Why choose organic?
Food you can trust!
Certification is legally required to grow or market any organic products; farms and businesses doing so are subject to at least one inspection per year. Farmers must comply to EU regulation and strict standards set by certification bodies such as the Soil Association.
No chemical pesticides
Recent studies have shown a direct link between the use of pesticides in commercial farming and the global decline of insects. Under organic standards, instead of relying heavily on pesticides and herbicides, organic farmers try to stay within the boundaries of nature to minimise pests and weeds. It's all about producing as much yield as possible whilst staying within nature's parameters. All weed killers are banned and farmers are only allowed to used a limited number of naturally derived pesticides, even this is a last resort.
No artificial fertilisers
Organic farmers don't use any artificial fertilisers which have had a devastating effect on our waterways. Instead they use age old crop rotations, incorporating animal manure and nitrogen capturing, leguminous plants such as clover. This approach greatly increases the amount of carbon in the soil which is vitally important in combatting global warming.
The highest animal welfare standards
Animal welfare is one of the most important parts of organic farming. For example, an organic free range hen has just over double the space a normal free range hen has and 50% less stocking density, more room to range, reduced stress and the chance to display natural behaviours.
No routine use of antibiotics
Antibiotics are used only as a last resort and when the animal truly needs them in organic farming, and the withdrawal period is twice as long. Due to the higher welfare standards in organic production systems, animals get sick less often, whereas in conventional agriculture, they can be used routinely before an animal is even sick; this accounts for 30% of all antibiotic use in the UK!
No genetic modification
In organic farming the use of GM ingredients is banned in organic animal feed; animals must be fed on a natural, organic, non-GM diet. Most non-organic livestock in the UK are fed on GM based feeds.
No artificial colours or preservatives
The use of additives is heavily restricted in organic products.